THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE Condemned Criminals IN NEWGATE, VIZ; Thomas Benson, Anne Parker, and Jane Arnock, As Also The Dying Speeches of John Wise, for Robbing and Murdering of Elizabeth Fairbanck, who was Executed at PICKADILLY, and James Shaw, who was Executed.
AT TYBURN. On Friday the 17th. of the October, 1684.
WHereas at the late Sessions of Gaol-Delivery, held in the Old-Bayly, on Wendesday, and Thursday, the 8th. and 9th. Days of October, Instant Five Persons received Sentence of Death, viz. Thomas Benson, James Shaw, John Wise, Anne Parker, and Jane Arnock,
The Ordinary on Friday visited the the said Condemned Malesactors, who being then placed about the Table in the Chappel of Newgate as is usual, for the space of two hours at least, he endeavoured to make them sensible of their several Crimes, opening the horrid nature of them. Then he instructed them in the Creation of mankind in an Holy and Hapy State, shewing how all men being made upright in the first Adam, as a publick trustee, or common parent and Representative of them, Apostatized from God virtually in him, deriving a sinful nature from Adam by propagation and that most justly, for the breach of the Covenant of perfect obedience due from all Men to God their Creator. And demonstrated from many undeniable arguments, that had all Men been Created together with Adam, they could not but have expresly consented to the equitable and advantagious termes of that first Covenant. Which being willfully broken, exposed all Adam natural Posterity to a state of Sin, to all the miseries of this Life, and the wrath of God for ever.
Then the Ordinary opened the Covenant of Grace and Redemtion by Christ the Second Adam as a Federal Head and Trustee, for all his Spiritual Seed and Allies, who are restored to the Image of God and Communion with him, even to a better and surer State in Divien savor, than could have been obtained by perseverance in obedience to the first Covenant.
In opening the mysterie of Redemtion by Christs perfect Active and Pas
sive obedience, the Condemned Persons were clearly instructed how the Law and Gospel sit Sinners preparatorily to come to Christ, that they may have an interest in him, by his Spirit working Faith in them and a sincere Repentance for the applying all the benefites requisite to Salvation purchased by Christ effectually, for all True beleiving Penitentiaries: here he stated the difference betwixt True and false Faith, Hope, and Charity, exhorting the Condemned Persons to a speedy Repentance, and thorow conversion to God in Christ, then he took account, whether they understood the Articles of their Christian Faith, and shewed how they all in their own nature have an influence into the practise of an Holy Life.
Then the ordinary Prayed largely for them, and gave them farther advice for their Souls benefit, both supporting them with Divine promise & Christ incitation of Sinners to come to him for reconciliation with God, and peace in Conscience and so dismist them. On Saturday the Ordinary took account of the Criminals what sollid Grounds they had to hope for a future happy state, having Prayed and exhorted them before on that day; he now proceeds to the acquainting the Reader with their Dying Acknowledgments taken by him in their own expressions.
First, Thomas Benson, an Apprentice to Mr. Nichols a Vintner : without Bishopsgate London, Indicted for Ravishing Elizabeth Nichols, Daughter to the said Mr. Nichos, being a child about 7 or 8 Years old, which was proved by many Circumstance against him, that he lay with the Child 5 times he willingly gave the ordinary an account of himself, he was a young Man Aged 18 or 19 Years he was Condemned for the Abominable Crime of a Rape upon a young Girle of Eight years of Age; he had Lived formerly Five years as an Apprentice with Cap. Blackgrave a Vintner at the Crown Tavern behind the Royal Exchange; he said that he was dismist from that Service for his refractory Carriage toward his Master, after that he lived with Mr. Ni Bishopsgate, where he was in Service, only for half a year. He said that Mr. Nichols ordered him several times to go to the publick parrish Church on the Ferenoon of the Lords day, but in the Afternoone, he he took his own time to Visit his acquaintance, with whom he sat Drinking yet not so as to be inflamed with excess, that he was only twice Drunk to be quite void of Reason, in his whole Apprentiship.
Afterward he more frequented bad Company, which drew on the prophanning of the Lords day, for which, his Mother often chid him, but he little regarded it. That he seldom Prayed to God to keep him from temptation of Sinning against him, that he sometimes in passion would Curse others, and that Horrid Imprecation of Damnation on himself, as to the said Crime for which he stands Condemned, he not , for he contest it before the Lord Mayor: he said that he a God justly left him to this Horrid s, because he had before known two grown Persons Carnally, but had of it. This I had m but y for warning to others; that when he was moved by the Divels in and the hurry of his L to this Crime committed on the foresaid Elizabeth Nichols, he Prayed not that he might have an Abhorrence of it; he said that the Girl cme into is Chamber and so her the opportunity to commit this b t being then in Drink.
To this the ordinary replyed, that he could not make that an extenuation of his Crime, because it was an Introduction into it and an aggravation of it; whereupon he wept, saying that he acknowledged the greatnes of this and all his other Sins, and earnestly beg’d of God to pardon them, for the sarisfaction of Christ God-man, who suffer’d the wrath of his Father due to our Sins, which is intolerable for us to bear, that he Prayed for the assistance of Gods Spirit to work in him sincere Repentance, and thorough Change of his Heart, that if this be purged by Christs blood and renewed by his Holy
Spirit he shall through Christ merit become whiter than Snow. He said that he beg’d his Persons pardon for disobedience and the Pardon of all Persons whom he hath injured, but cheiely Gods Pardon: and hopes that Christ makes Intercession for him that he may be in Gods favour and may hear the Blessed Sentence pronounced towards him in the day of the last judgment come ye Blessed of my Father.
The Ordinary replied that man Heart is very deceitful of which he hat had sad experience in some who after his Majesties Gracious Pardon, have abused it notwithstanding all protestations and resolutions to the contrary and have in a little time afterwards false into new Crimes and could not recover that degree of r which they seemed to have exprest before, the Criminal said that he knew that Faith and Repentance were the st of God, and therefore he Prayer that he may be affifred so as to perform them g and that he desire to mourn for all Sin, chiefly because it offends God and desires his Conscience, and hat he begg not only Gods pardoning Mery, that Sin may not d him that the sence of Gods loving kindness, may r him up to te n perfectly and to labour after a clean and upright H.
II. James Shaw who was convicted for Burglary and Robbery, upon the House and Goods of John Coghil Esq ; part of the Goods being by him expesed to said and other plain circumstances against him: Acquaimed the Ordinary that he had served 3 years White and Black Smith : That his Master: Dyed and so he was left to the wide. World to first for himself, his Father being then Dead, that he had been a prophaner of the Sabbath an hard drinker a Gamester and a Sweater, that he ahd lived 6 years from his Wife and yet did not deny but she was an honest Woman, and a pains-taker, the Ordinary replied he had no reason to leave her Society, unless bad Woman drew off his love which he did in part acknowledge: he said that he had been formerly Condemned to Dy for Clipping, his Majesties Coin but deoyed the present Crime and that for Twelve Months past he had Prayed God to keep him his true and Faithful Servant. That he was no at last free to Dye yet he beleived God was very angry with him for former Sins or be would not have suffered him now to be Condemned he spake much as to the asserting his own nnocny as to the present Crime but the Ordinary replyed he could not give any Credit to his Cting language and Hypocritical pretences of Innocence; it being a great Sign of impdency and Impenitence in which to persist to Death would be the height of Wickedness.
III. The next Person by name John Wise, who was Incted and found guilty, of the Bous Murther and Robbery, of a good honest woman that liv’d in a Cellar near Pickadilly, by breaking her neck and takeing from her to the value as supposed of 6l. in money plane and good on a Sunday about 9 in the Evening in April last: The murther hah been e since concealed, and was now made pain by the Evidence of one who went for the Wife of Charles Tooley, who together with Richard Jones, and this Wise were concerned thein. She tified, that her said supposed usband, being ed into for this crime, and being there h death bed did confess the Murther and Robbery aore-said: And that when the said fact was committed the further re: That she saw Wise the same night have over his oe ch a se that was taken from the Widdow abovesaid: with many other plain Curcumstance.
This Wise said that he was born and bred about westminster, and bound Apprentice to a silk-Stocking Maker , but did not serve out the time he was ound for, that he went afterwards out to Sea and after that he spent some time n s from we he came into England two v s: that then he Prayed to God to ct him to some honest way of od but meeting with bad Company that desire soon vanished, for although he went to Church sometimes and gged at that present for a new Heart, yet he
avoided not bad Company, but frequently prophaned the Sabbath, and would drink unto exces: so that he carnally knew lewd women. Yet upon his Repentance he said he did not dispair of Gods Mercy: But hoped that Christ dyed for his sins, which he now endeavoured to recal to mind and repent of, from the bottom of his heart and bad he a 1000 years to live they were time little enough to repent thoroughly for the neglect of his Duty to God, who had given him knowledg, but he had sinned against conviction: And therefore now he beggs of God to assist him in searching his heart, and that he may mind nothing but to make his peace with God.
He said that he did not fear death so much, as disobedience against God by sinning. The Ordinary replied, that he ought to suspect the truth of his Repentance because he did not ingenuously take shame to himself in confessing the Murther for which he stands condemned to Dye: Whereupon he did not much deny it on the Friday, but bogled at it on Saturday. Tho I hope he will not go out of the World denying his Sins.
IV. Jane Arnock a French-woman, who was convicted of a felony in stealing fifty pounds she could speak little or no English so as to be understood; Yet she relented much at what was offered to her by way of Conviction.
The foregoing Account being taken by the Ordinary from the Prisoners own mouths: I Proceed to acquaint the Reader, that his most Sacred Majesty, was graciously pleased to repreive 2 of the afore said Criminals. viz. Thomas Benson, and Jane Arnock. (and Ann Parker haveing pleaded her pregnancy as above,) there was only two Prisoners, viz. John Wise and James Shaw, who this 17th day of October suffered.
As to the first of which said Criminals, viz. John Wise, he was ordered to be Executed on a Gibbet, set up on purpose in Pickadilly, against the place where he committed the Murder and Robbery aforesaid: Where he was carried from Newgate between Nine and Ten of the Clock in a Cart by himself. As he went through St. Giles’s, he called for half a pint of Canary, and Drank the same off. When he came to the Gibbet, not with standing his resolute denial of the Fact all along during his Imprisonment, and at his Trial, the sight of that Fate which so nearly attended him, struck Terror into his Heart, and made him Confess as follows
That from the time he knew what Sin was, he was a great Sinner, and had very much neglected his duty to God not regarding any thing of Religion, but was disobedient to his Parents, and rejected the Councels of his best Freinds. That for the many Robberies he hath been accused most of them he did Commit though not all, and many which he never was suspected for he : Commited; and perticularly as to a Robbery which he did upon an Ancient Woman, liveing in Theivinig-lane at Westminster, This he did Singly in his own person and conveyed the goods away himself, without other Assistance.
That as to the perticular Crime, he came now to suffer for; He bewayld it as his great unhappiness, That he fell into the Acquaintance of Tooley and Jones, who brought him into the same: That the Saturday, before the Murther was Committed he was Guilty of a Robbery upon a Coach at Westminster, from which he Stole a very Rich Silkegown: That the next day being the Lords day in the Morning Tooley Jones and himself, contrived the Robbing Mrs. Fairbanck, Jones declaring that he knew her, and that she had a great deal of money by her; That at Night about 9 or 10 of the Clock they 3 came all together pretending to Drink at her Cellar: Jones takeing acquaintance with the Old Woman and saying the other 2 were his freinds, after which, they ordered him to go and shut the door, and stand and watch least any should discover them which he did, whilst in the mean time they Murthered her, and took what she had which they acquainted him with as they came out: saying they had made, sure Worke with her and that she should never tell Tales, to which he said why I nope you have not killed her? yes replyes Jones, but we have, then Answers he I would to God I had not Joyned with you for we shall all be Discovered, and have nothing now to do but every one to shift for himself yet agreed to meet at a place where they shared the Spoyl, which was divided between them: of which his Part came not to full 10/. for that the Rings and the Suit of Cloathes mentioned in his Tryal, fell to his Lot.
After which he Prayed, and begged of God to Pardon him for his concern in, and Concealing so Barbarous a Murder; Exhorting all People that then saw him, to avoid those Sins that Justly brought him to this sad end. During the time he was in the Cart, his Wife came up to him, of whom he took his Leave, and Kissing her, told her he hoped God would provide for her, better than if he had lived with her, with other expressions to the same effect. He Died very Resolutey, and was little Lamented, being a Notorious Criminal.
The next that suffered was James Shaw, who was Executed of Tyburn; he Prayed very sensibly, and suitably to his Condition, and Exhorted all Persons to shun Evil courses, which had brought this Evil End upon him; confessing that he had been a notorious Criminal, and had many times been guilty of Death, for Diminishing and Clipping Kings Coin: But as to the Fact which he now came to Dye for, he was utterly Innocent, being not in the least concerned in the Robbery: Yet as to the Tankard that was found in his Poffedion, he gave some Money for it to one Carr who was in the Robbery; and strove to expose the same to Sale, but was not farther Guilty. And this he stood in to his Death.